Monsters and Critics’ go-to expert for advice on weight loss is Santa Monica-based surgeon, Dr. Carson Liu M.D., www.drcarsonliu.com, a top Bariatric surgeon who regularly is called upon by national media and medical periodicals for his advice for people seeking weight loss help.
In the headlines the last few weeks was the shocking news that five deaths in Southern California following Lap-Band surgery related to the Billboard Doctors advertising campaign. Bariatric surgery is highly specialized and should only be performed in extreme cases, and with a properly trained medical doctor, according to Dr. Carson Liu M.D.
Dr. Liu, who has successfully performed over 2,500 lap band implants since 2002 with no deaths, says that Lap-Band surgery, when performed by a qualified surgeon, is the safest of all bariatric procedures, but that unfortunately, it is being performed by unqualified physicians, in unsanitary environments, and for inappropriate reasons.
And, billboard advertising for Lap-Band surgery is becoming a national trend, he noted. Consumers should beware of any advertisement for surgery that does not mention a qualified doctor’s name or the name of a practice as these are likely marketing or scheduling companies.
Dr. Liu says, “It’s the Wild Wild West out there when it comes to bariatric surgery. No government agency or professional governing board is ensuring the patient’s safety.
The Lap-Band weight loss procedure is marketed by Billboard Doctors directly to consumers in Los Angeles County through billboards, television and radio promotions. Dr. Liu is chagrined that these outpatient surgical centers and their doctors are even permitted to perform bariatric procedures to begin with.
According to Dr. Liu, the Billboard Doctors’ surgical centers are unqualified – The doctors at these centers are strictly second-tier physicians who typically do not have a specialty in bariatric surgery, making them by definition less qualified to perform the Lap Band procedures. Beyond that, many of the physicians have medical backgrounds that are suspect.
They are also unsafe – Since the doctors who work at these surgical centers typically do not have hospital privileges, (as licensed bariatric surgeons do), there’s no place to take their patients except the local ER, should something go amiss during a surgical procedure.
Dr. Liu recommends lifestyle changes for his patients, including diet and exercise.
So how do successful dieters stay on track? Dr. Liu shared his top weight control secrets with Monsters and Critics to help people stay within their ideal weight range.
Here are ten tips from Dr. Carson Liu to help you stay on your diet:
Drink water, at least 8oz every hour. You will feel full faster and combat sweet cravings.
Have a food plan for each day, eating at regular meal times will help you avoid unnecessary grazing.
Cut up Veggies and keep handy
Bring a vegetable tray to every party you attend…If you find yourself munching, make sure it’s vegetables.
Don’t starve before a party so you can treat yourself later…skipping meals slows your metabolism and your end of day hunger will spur an eating binge.
Protein is your friend
Avoid sugar and eat a snack high in protein before the party, a handful of nuts, some chicken or turkey breast cubes, some Greek yogurt. A well-nourished mind makes better food decisions.
Ask what the party menu is
Don’t be shy, ask your party host what food will be served so you can plan accordingly.
Offer to share a dish
Offer to bring a salad or a few healthy side dishes…that way you are certain to have something there that is okay for you to eat with a bit of abandon.
Alcohol is a sugar, and one that can cost a lot of money if you are pulled over on the way home for a DUI. Avoid unless you are tucked in at home with no plans to drive, then drink moderately. Toast most celebrations with a nonalcoholic beverage…You will preserve your motivation for healthy eating and your waistline will thank you.
Plan your splurge
That rich chocolate truffle, the glass of egg nog, the yummy baked goods, plan one day weekly you can cheat a little bit so you enjoy the tastes of the season without feeling like a diet martyr. Allow yourself small indulgences so you don’t feel deprived the whole holiday season. Your waistline won’t notice the occasional treat.
Be good to yourself
Treat yourself to a mani/pedi if you stick to healthy eating during the week, or a massage. Working out at the gym? Treat yourself to a simple pleasure to reward good behavior patterns. Don’t beat yourself up by continuing to overeat if you slip…bingeing will only make you more miserable physically and mentally.